The impact TREB ruling will have on agents

by Justin da Rosa08 Jun 2016
Initial worries are overblown, according to one veteran who argues there will always be a need for agent expertise.

“I think it will have an impact but it won’t be as big as everyone thinks,” Ron Hauth, a Toronto-based agent with RE/MAX, told REP. “There will always be a place for professionals.”

The competition tribunal recently ordered the Toronto Real Estate Board to open its data up to the public.

"I welcome [the] order by the Competition Tribunal requiring the Toronto Real Estate Board to permit member agents to use and display critical data on virtual office websites,” John Pecman, commissioner of competition, said following the announcment. “The Bureau remains focused on ensuring that consumers benefit from innovation and competition in the provision of real estate services."

An order issued by the Competition Tribunal will require TREB to remove restrictions on sold data that its agents have access to.

Initial fears that agents’ competitive advantage in that market would be eroded, but that’s not the case, according to Hauth, who drew a comparison to another industry he once witnessed.

“I've seen someone repair attempt to repair his own outboard [boat motor] using an on line manual,” Hauth, whose family owned a marina, said. “[He] bought $100 of parts and off he went. Came back the next day, had screwed up most of the new parts, so had to buy them again, had also screwed up a few other things too.”

Hauth believes agents will continue to help homebuyers and sellers avoid similar mistakes when it comes to an admittedly much more expensive asset.

“Mistakes they can make is taking a low offer, taking the first offer; agents help take the emotional aspect out of the home buying process,” he said.


  • by Rick Rose 6/8/2016 10:49:47 AM

    The best analogy is the golf course down the street. It is a private course and one must pay an initiation fee to join and a yearly fee to stay a member. If I went to the course with my clubs and asked to play the course they would tell me I'm not a member and can't play. Is the competition board going to force all private golf courses to open up their facilities to the public. This will impact not only Real Estate but other industries as well. And if this decision is upheld I think we should look at the structure of the MLS/Board system as a whole because the private information that we pay for and maintain is no longer private so why should we pay for it. There will always be a roll and a place for Realtors but our Professional position will be diminished if everybody has access to the same information as we do.

  • by Susan 6/8/2016 10:55:40 AM

    I've seen this analogy about the boat motor before --- how is that comparable to buying/selling real estate?? It's a ridiculous statement.

  • by Tired 6/8/2016 10:56:27 AM

    I think that with all the mere postings that the Competition has said that we MUST permit, along with this new thing of allowing the public access to the sold data, keeping the MLS online is no longer something that we as agents can afford. It costs money to maintain that data, and if we aren't making the money, we cannot keep paying for the public to have freebies. There is no law stating we MUST keep the MLS online, is there?

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